Weird News Wednesday: Detroit Catholics Allowed to Eat Muskrat During Lent

Weird News Wednesday: Detroit Catholics Allowed to Eat Muskrat During Lent

Weird News Wednesday: Detroit Catholics Allowed to Eat Muskrat During Lent

Most American Catholics aren’t allowed to eat meat on certain days during Lent. But Detroiters are lucky (or maybe not): They get to eat muskrat on any Lenten day they please, including Good Friday (April 19). As canon-law expert Edward Peters explains to the AP, this dietary exemption, granted by the Archdiocese of Detroit, dates back to 1700s, when missionary priests in the area “realized that food was especially scarce in the region by the time Lent came around and did not want to burden Catholics unreasonably by denying them one of the few readily available sources of nutrition—however unappetizing it might be for most folks.” So how does the “furry, marsh-dwelling rodent” taste? “I think muskrat tastes like muskrat,” says Reverend Tim Laboe, while others think it tastes like duck. As for Bishop Kenneth Povish, he says, “Anybody that eats muskrat is doing an act of penance worthy of the greatest of saints.”

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